ICC Sydney’s Annual Performance Review reveals a steady road to recovery

28 September 2021

Leadership at Australia’s premier convention, exhibition and entertainment centre delivers broad community benefits despite COVID-19 and prepares to drive pre-pandemic economic performance.
 
International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) is poised to drive the economic recovery of the CBD following the release of its 2020/21 Annual Performance Review.
 
Demonstrating the venue’s industry leading adaptability and innovation in the face of lockdowns, border closures and operating restrictions, ICC Sydney hosted more than 352 events for over 200,000 attendees despite the ongoing impact and restrictions created by the COVID-19 pandemic, providing opportunities for social engagement and economic benefits across Sydney and through its supply chain into regional areas.
 
CEO Geoff Donaghy said ICC Sydney had worked closely with NSW Health to ensure it was able to continue its service to clients and the community safely throughout the year.
 
“Despite the challenges, our extraordinary team worked hand in glove with our customers to host 352 events, of which 80 were virtual, 72 hybrid and 200 were in-person events,” Mr Donaghy said.
 
“During the month of May, almost 90,000 people joined 60 events. This return to near-normal domestic activity confirmed the team’s success in maintaining client and stakeholder confidence throughout the pandemic.

The results – and in particular those achieved during May 2021 - further laid the foundations for long-term recovery. 
 
“Managing the present has allowed us to build our future. We expect to be back to delivering spend across the New South Wales community of $1 billion annually within the next five years,” Mr Donaghy said.
 
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perottet said ICC Sydney had played an important role ensuring Australia’s only truly global city maintained its competitiveness in tough times.
 
Throughout the pandemic, the show went on at ICC Sydney - keeping our great city front of mind for events even when they had to be held virtually,” Mr Perrottet said.
 
“And as we emerge from lockdown, ICC Sydney will also drive the revitalisation of our CBD, welcoming visitors back to the city to fill our hotels, dine in our restaurants, shop and explore.”
During the year, the venue upgraded its technology, broadcast services and team skills to run hybrid and virtual events 100% in-house. Supported by its ICC Sydney Connect platform, the team provided essential services and advice to its broad client-base, allowing events to continue under its COVID-Safe operating framework no matter the operating environment and increasing event attendance with a further online audience of at least 200,000.
 
Mr Donaghy played a leadership role in advocating for industry issues to support the ongoing recovery of events, which also allowed ICC Sydney to continue operating to the conditions of the day.
 
“Thanks to the support of the NSW Government and Darling Harbour Live, despite the challenges we have faced together, our experience and agility has seen the team continue to deliver success for our clients, our community and our supply chain and the strength in event enquiries leaves us optimistic for an accelerated road to recovery as soon as the operating conditions allow,” he said.
 
The ongoing flow of information to businesses, association members and all organisations is arguably more important during a crisis than in a usual year. Through continuous communication, ICC Sydney kept the attention of its clients and the broader industry to build confidence to book events throughout the next financial year and well into the future.
 
 
Key results
  • 352 events
  • 200,000 in-person attendees
  • 200,000 online attendees
  • Managing the present has built the pipeline to recovery
  • Business to return to pre-pandemic levels within five years
  • Industry advocacy enabled exemption to operate events uncapped to 1/4sqm and EventSafe operating framework, which integrates parent group ASM Global’s Venue Shield program
  • Rebuilt casual workforce from zero back up to over 400 team members, in addition to its permanent staff
  • In-house broadcast studio, end-to-end virtual events technology and experience operators
  • Remaining open throughout the pandemic provided brand protection
  • Bringing business back – 60 events with 90,0000 attendees in the month of May 2021.
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